A molecular phylogenetic analysis of the bloodroot and kangaroo paw family, Haemodoraceae: taxonomic, biogeographic and conservation implications


*E-mail: m.fay@rbgkew.org.uk


A phylogenetic analysis of plastid DNA sequences from the trnL-F region corroborates the hypothesis that Haemodoraceae, a small monocotyledonous family centred in southwestern Australia, are monophyletic with relationships to Philydraceae, Pontederiaceae and Comme–linaceae. It also supports the long-standing recognition of two subfamilies. In Conostylidoideae Tribonanthes falls in an isolated position, thus supporting its segregation as a recently recognized monogeneric tribe. Tribal status for Phlebocarya is not supported as this taxon is unexpectedly placed in Conostylideae as sister to Conostylis–Blancoa. Macropidia falls as sister to Anigozanthos. The DNA tree permits continued recognition of Macropidia and Blancoa as distinct genera, contrary to a recent morphological cladistic analysis. Haemodoroideae fall into two clades: (Dilatris(Lachnanthes+Haemodorum)) and (Xiphidium(Schiekia+Wachendofia)). It is unlikely that Haemodoraceae are of Gondwanan origin, and the phylogenetic pattern indicates a largely relictual distribution with a recent radiation in Western Australia.